Sections in this issue:
1) Nancy Johnson Goins Received A Big Slice of Texas;
2) Nicholas Goyen Attained Success in Australia;
3) DEAR COUSINS.
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 6, No. 6 February 1995
1) Nancy Johnson Goins Received
A Big Slice of Texas
By Sherry Louise Martin Chitty
Box 262, Imlay, Nevada, 89418
When the widow Nancy Johnson Goins and her family arrived in Texas shortly after Mexico had obtained its independence from Spain in 1821, the country was still in political turmoil. There were millions of acres of land in the province of Coahuila y Tejas, and Mexico needed settlers to develop it. But the Mexicans were cautious about admitting Americans who might want to add Texas to the westward expansion of the United States.
Additionally, it was hard for the settlers to know just who was in charge. Some presidential administrations lasted only one week in Mexico City, before they were toppled by a new revolution.
During the first 55 years of Mexican history. it had two emperors, two regencies, several dictators and enough presidents to have had no fewer that 74 different governments.
Added to the political instability, was the problem of communications. Eight hundred trackless miles lay between Mexico City and the settlements in Texas. Regulations which the settlers attempted to comply with were already superseded by newer decisions in Mexico City before they could be implemented in Texas. The alcaldes of San Antonio, Nacogdoches and Goliad, the three settlements in Texas at that time, attempted to improvise.
In 1821, the total white population of Texas was 7,000 and declining.
Nancy Johnson was born about 1780 in South Carolina of parents unknown. She was married there about 1799 Thomas D. Goins.
They lived in Alabama Territory for a few years and then removed to Louisiana Territory, settling in St. Martin Parish. When Lafayette Parish was organized in 1823 from St. Martin, they found themselves in the new parish. Thomas D. Goins had heard that Texas had “land to burn” and dreamed of obtaining a Mexican land grant there, but his dream was denied to him. His health declined rapidly, and soon he was unable to work or to travel. He wrote his will on May 22, 1825 and died shortly afterward.
The succession of “Thomas Goin,” dated May 13, 1826, was probated in Lafayette Parish, according to “Southwest Louisiana Records” by Rev. Donald J. Hebert.
“State of Louisiana }
Lafayette Parish }
Be it remembered that on this eighteenth Day of May Anno Domini One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty-six Before me, Thomas B. Brashear, Judge of the Parish of Lafayette and Ex-officio Notary Public within and for said Parish personally came and appeared James Taylor White, one of the Testamentary executors of the last will and testament of Thomas Gowens, late of said parish, deceased and also appeared Nancy Gowens, widow of said deceased and Stephen Gowens, Aramintha Gowens and Sally Gowens of full age, Thomas Gowens, nineteen years of age, duly emancipated and aided and assisted in these presents by Lancelot Porter, his special curator, also Anne Gowensof the Province of Texas and duly represented in these presents by her curatrix and mother, Nancy Gowens, all the legal heirs and descendants of the said deceased who have declared and confessed that on the 22nd day of May 1825 the said Thomas Gowens Sen. did execute his last will and testament by which he bequeathed and divided his title property as follows, viz:
Item 1st of said will: He gave to Nancy Gowens, his widow the following slaves, to wit: the Negro woman named Plians, aged about thirty-five years, the Negro boy named Abraham, about fourteen years of age, and the Negro girl named Violet, aged about eleven years, all slaves for life, also the household and kitchen furniture.
Item 2nd: He gave and bequeathed to his daughter, Anny Gowens, the Negro girl named Clarinda, aged about six years.
Item 3rd: He gave and bequeathed to his daughter, Aramintha Gowens one Negro boy named Aury, aged five years.
Item 4th: He gave and bequeathed to his son Stephen Gowens one Negro boy named Roger, aged ten years.
Item 5th: He gave and bequeathed to his daughter Sally Gowens a Negro girl named Kitty, aged seven years.
Item 6th: He gave and bequeathed to his son, Thomas Gowens a Negro boy named Riley, aged four years which concluded all the property of the Testator aforesaid.
And the aforesaid affirm in their different rights and capacities, that each of them for themselves and others, Viz:
Represent that they received the foregoing portion of the property aforesaid. Confirmed is the will of said Testator and do by these presents make the same irrevocable and unalterable. This done on motion of an order of the Court of Probate dated this ___ day of May instant and signed by all the aforesaid parties in the presence of the Two Subscribing Witnesses and the said Notary after said due reading.
Witnessed: Nancy [X] Gowens
John Merriman Sally [X] Gowens
James T. White Aramintha [X] Gowens
Stephen [X] Gowens
Samuel W. Pond Thomas [X] Gowens”
Nancy Johnson Goins and her children arrived in Atascosita District shortly afterward, hoping to fulfill the dream of her deceased husband. However, their experience with a democratic government in the United States had not prepared them to deal with the capricious, unpredictable Mexican authorities. Women did not have same rights under Mexican law as they enjoyed in the United States. Even when Thomas D. Goins, Jr. posed as the head of the household, he was ignored as well.
Finally, Mexico adopted an empresario system to handle the entrance of colonists into Texas. Thomas D. Goins, Jr. was instructed to apply for land to Empresario Lorenzo de Zavala in Atascosita District. Earlier Stephen F. Austin, a 28-year-old lawyer from New Orleans had been authorized to establish in Austin Colony 300 American families at Columbus on the Colorado River and at Washington-on-the-Brazos.
Much frustration developed between the Mexican authorities and the settlers. Cultural differences, language barriers and race suspicions complicated the negotiations. Additionally the church required the settlers to convert to Catholicism to become land
owners. Despite the exasperating circumstances, the Goins family and their neighbors attempted to be good citizens. Most of the settlers in the Atascosita District had emigrated together from Louisiana.
There the Goins had associated in Calcasieu Parish with members of the Nash family, the Drake family and a Goins family with ties to Choctaw Nation in Mississippi.
Tempers first reached the boiling point in Nacogdoches. There Empresario Hayden Edwards, over land grant discrimination against the Anglos, mustered his militia and declared an end to Mexican persecution. He captured the Old Stone Fort built by the
Spanish Army there in 1779 and declared the formation of the Republic of Fredonia, free of Mexican domination.
Austin regarded this impulsive revolutionary action as rash and certain to disrupt the orderly process of land grants to his colonists.
He quickly dispatched his militia during the first week of January 1827 from Columbus to put down the rebellion at Nacogdoches. As the force moved northeastward, it was joined by the Atascosita Militia.
“Thomas D. Gowen [Jr.],” Aaron Drake, John Drake and James Drake were included in the 30-man militia of Atascosita mustered into service January 16, 1827 under the command of Capt. Hugh B. Johnston. They marched with the militia of Austin Colony against the Fredonians. As the militia approached Nacogdoches on January 31, the out-numbered rebels fled across the Sabine River into Louisiana, ending the insurrection, according to “Liberty, Liberty County and Atascosita District” by Miriam Partlow.”
The Atascosita colonists felt that their service on behalf of Mexico would be helpful in obtaining approval of their land grant applications. But again the Mexicans did nothing but promise “mañana.”
In November 1827 the frustrated settlers in Atascosita filed a petition with Don Anastacio Bustamente, Commander General of the Internal Eastern States, regarding their land applications.
Seventy-three signatures were affixed to the petition from “the inhabitants who are settled on the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers” Included were “Tomas D. Gewen [Jr.], Aaron Drak, John Drak, Hugh H. Johnston and Tomas Nash.”
Some of the applicants received their land grants during the years 1831-1835. Thomas D. Goins, Jr. and the Drakes did not receive land grants which may have influenced some of them to return to Louisiana.
Nancy Johnson Goins reapplied for a Mexican land grant about 1829, but died without receiving it in 1832. Since she was an early settler in Texas, prior to the Revolution, the Texas government upon winning its freedom from Mexico in 1836 honored her request. The Republic of Texas approved her application with a First Class Headright of “a league and a labor,” 4,606 acres which was patented to her heirs January 28, 1846 by President Sam Houston.
Atascosita District was renamed Liberty County in 1836, and the land grant of “Nancy Gowin” lay “32 miles north of Liberty, Texas and seven miles east of the Trinity River.” Isaiah L. Fields, a soninlaw, was appointed administrator of her estate.
The land was patented to the heirs of Nancy Johnson Goins Patent No. 777 issued January 18, 1842. When Hardin County was created, part of the land grant was located in the new county.
For the next 50 years the estate of Nancy Johnson Goins was in dispute by the heirs. Finally on May 18, 1891, John G. Gates of Trinity County, Texas, “attorney in fact for the heirs of Nancy Gowens” was able to free up one fourth of the land, 1,151½ acres located in Hardin County. Heirs represented by John G. Gates included “H. S. Gowens, T. J. Gowens, C. Gowens, W. Gowens, Mitchell Gowens, Joseph Gowens and S. B. Gowens.” John G. Gates received $1,500 in compensation from “W. C. Gowens and S. B. Gowens,” according to Liberty County Deed Book 9, page 574.
The family was back in court February 28, 1907, again wrangling over the 1,151½ acres. Attorney for the plaintiff represented 54 heirs, the attorney for the defendants represented eight heirs, and the attorney for the intervener represented 11 individuals. A
default judgement was rendered in the case, and the plaintiffs received 600 acres of land, the defendants received 551½ acres, and the interveners received “one-seventh of the east half of the SW quarter,” according to Liberty County Deed Book 9, page 400. In the next round in the Liberty County District Court 70 litigants participated.
A generation later the family was still going at it over the Nancy Johnson Goins Survey, and the list of heirs had grown to over 300 wrangling people.
Children born to Thomas D. Goins, Sr. and Nancy Johnson Goins include:
Sarah “Sally” Goins born about 1800
Anne Goins born about 1802
Stephen Breckenridge Goins born about 1804
Arminta Goins born about 1805
Thomas D. Goins, Jr. born about 1807
From Poverty in Cornish Mines . . .
2) Nicholas Goyen Attained
Success in Australia
By Robert J. Goyen
Foundation Editorial Boardmember
423 Sutton Street, Sebastopol, 3356
I am enclosing a story for the Newsletter about a Nicholas Goyen.
Very little of this information in is my book as it has just come to hand. His parents were a Peter Goyen and Mary Goyen which are the same names as my great-grandparents, Peter Goyen and Mary Ann Bowden Goyen [Newsletter, January 1990]. When my great grandmother married, she was just 18. Nicholas was born two years earlier. I am unable to find a Peter Goyen, other than my great-grandfather anywhere in Cornwall, so it appears that Nicholas was my grandfather’s pre-marriage brother. However, proof is needed before any conclusion. His story follows with the hope that some researcher might have some more information:
Nicholas Goyen, son of Peter Goyen, a miner and his wife Mary Goyen, was born about 1844 in Cornwall. Nicholas seems to have had a difficult childhood. He did not appear with his parents in the 1851 census. Instead he was enumerated “visiting” Mary Phillips, a 60-year-old widow and pauper who lived with her son, Francis Henry, a copperminer.
In the census of 1861 Nicholas was recorded as a stepson in the household of Nicholas Pierce, a 35-year-old tinminer, and his wife, Mary, age 40. Other children in the Pierce household included William Pierce, age 10; James Pierce, age four, Francis Pierce, age
two and Mary Pierce, age four months.
Nicholas Goyen was married to Martha Cock, age 22, September 9, 1866 at St. Ausell, Cornwall. She was the daughter of a miner, Joseph Cock and his wife, Harriett Cock.
Nicholas was working in the Cornish mines when their first child was born. Later they removed to Wales where a second son was born. About 1870 they emigrated to the United States and settled at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in the heart of the anthracite coalmining
area. Life in the American mines was just as hard as mining in Cornwall, and Nicholas moved westward. They affiliated with the Latter Day Saints and probably lived for a time
in Salt Lake City, Utah. Two daughters were born to them in the United States.
Nicholas was attracted to Australia, perhaps by Cornish friends or kinsmen who had emigrated there. His family embarked and arrived in Sydney March 4, 1879 aboard the “Blair Athol.” There Nicholas settled down, becoming a successful grocer and a fuel
merchant. Three more daughters were born to them there.
One of the grandsons of Nicholas Goyen, James Nicholas Goyen was responsible for the design and promotion of Sylvania Waters near Sydney. It is also the location for the filming of the television series of the same name.
Children born to Nicholas Goyen and Martha Cock Goyen include:
Nicholas Goyen, Jr. born about 1867
William Richard Goyen born about 1869
Martha Goyen born about 1871
Bessie Goyen born about 1873
Mary Goyen born about 1876
Rosy Goyen born about 1879
May Goyen born about 1882
3) DEAR COUSINS
The descendants of Henry Nathan Gowens invite you to join us at the Gowens Family Reunion held in Noccalula Falls Park, Gadsden, AL. Noccalula Falls in its unspoiled beauty cascades over 90 feet into a beautiful ravine. The park has a playground, miles of hiking trails, botanical gardens, a pioneer village and camping facilities, complete with pool, bath and laundry.
Festivities begin at the Kiwanis Building with a covered dish luncheon at 12:30 p.m. Bring your favorite recipe, or if travelling, bring ice drinks or cookies, etc.
After lunch, there will be a story-telling session where each member will share a short story about our ancestors. The older the story, the better. Our ancestors paved the way for us, and the reunion is not only a memorial to them, but a search for knowledge about them. Please take time out of your busy lives to come and give our children a strong family with a proud heritage. For details, call or write Nena Moore, 1080 County Road 569, Crossville, AL, 35963, 205/659-6256.
Thank you for the Newsletters and the information you recently sent to me regarding the various Gowans families of Lanarkshire, Scotland. I am impressed with the level of effort that has gone into the Newsletters and the organization of the Foundation. This the best I have seen of any family organization. Along with my membership application I am enclosing some print-outs of the information I have on my Gowans ancestors and their descendants.
I would be glad to exchange Gowans data with anyone in pursuit of the Lanarkshire family. Joseph Shirley, Rt. 3, Box 31, Meyersdale, PA, 15552.
Thank you so much for another year’s worth of interesting stories about our fascinating Gowen/Goins family members. I look forward to the 1995 editions and what surprises the researchers will uncover. Jon Lee Goins, 9404 Hunters Trace, Austin, TX, 78758.
I am searching for the ancestors of my great-grandparents, Crawford H. Goin, born October 1847 and Mary Virginia Price Goin, born in April 1845, who were enumerated in the 1900 census of Appomattox County, VA in Clover Hill District near Pamplin, VA. Crawford H. Goin had five brothers; Charles L. Goin and Jerry T. Goin of Salem, VA; Glenn A. Goin, Norfolk, VA; Harry L. Goin, Middle River, MD and Emmett H. Goin, Baltimore. He also had a sister, Florence Goin who was married to J. B. McFaddin.
Also in the Clover Hill District was Powhatan B. Goin and his sister Elizabeth A. Goin enumerated together in 1900. He was born in Virginia in February 1848, and she was born there in May 1849. The Elijah P. Fore family, located nearby, appeared to be closely associated with the Goins. I have a large collection of Goin family data which I would be glad to exchange with Foundation researchers. Janice Farrington Samuelson, 210 Winding Way, Salisbury, NC, 28147.
It is encouraging to hear that break-thrus do occur in our William Alexander Gowen branch of the family. Thanks for the revised draft of the York County, ME section of the Foundation manuscript. I am reading and re-reading Sections .078 and .080 and making charts to show where my Benjamin Gowen “hooks on.” Alas, so far, still a dead end. I am also constructing a timeline chart for him. Maybe the computer will reveal something I’ve
been missing. Any suggestions?
Enclosed is my Sustaining Membership and a gift membership for my daughter in New York. Since the next generation may have to solve some of these Gowen family puzzles, it’s time to get them involved. Susan B. Liedell, 148 Kate’s Path, Yarmouth Port, MA, 02675.
My sister, Bessie Dean Dent and I, had the sad privilege of attending the funerals of two of our first cousins recently. James Vernon Gowen, Jr. and his brother Guy Albert Gowen, both of Charlton County, were g-g-g-grandsons of Lt. James Gowen, Revolutionary soldier of Beaufort District, South Carolina. James died November 10 at age 77, and Albert died December 18. I am enclosing obituary information on both so that you may add it to their files in the Foundation Library. They were also cousins to Charles Latimer Gowen of Atlanta, Barney Alexander Gowen of Woodbine and Miller A. Gowen of Geneva, Switzerland.
I appreciate the work the Foundation is doing to chronicle all the branches of the family. My membership for 1995 is enclosed. Hazel Dean Overstreet, 5175 Odum Hwy, Odum, GA, 31555.
Need information on John Going b1824 in VA. I regard him as a brother of my Jonathan Going, b1822 in VA. John’s wife, Betsy Beasley. b1823. may be a sister to Jonathan’s wife, Hannah Beasley, b1826. Both couples were married in 1846 in Surry County, NC. Jean Grider, 1734 Salem Church Rd, Cave City, KY, 42127.
In regard to William Gowen, Jr. and Jamima “Jimminy” Burns Gowen [Newsletter November 1994], while searching for my Garrets, I came across two references to them in the Bedford County. VA court minutes [photostats enclosed]. These documents show that they were married about seven years earlier that previously thought. In the minutes for 1777, page 135, appears:
“Jamima Going, wife of William Gowin, a soldier in the service of the United States all’d [al[owed] £10 in the hands of William Leftwich, Gent. Ordered to be cert’d [certified] to treasurer,”
The court minutes of Bedford County dated July 27, 1778 read:
“Jamima Going, wife of William Going, Jr, all’d £8 for the support of herself and Family for Six Months in the absence of her Husband, a soldier in the service of the United States
in the hands of William Leftwich, Gent. which is ordered to be Cert.”
Their sons, James Burns Gowen [Newsletter March 1990] and Dr. William Davis Gowen [Newsletter April 1992] were born to them after the Revolutionary war. These documents also tend to prove that William Gowen, Jr. was a Revolutionary soldier. I wonder why Jamima did not apply for a pension on her husband’s service. Maybe she did, and it has just not yet surfaced. June A. Smith, Box 85, Belfair, WA, 98528.
I am saddened to forward the news on to you of the sudden death of Rev. Richard Goins of Ottumwa, IA [Foundation Editorial Boardmember]. Enclosed is an obituary sent to me by Richard’s wife, Marietta. He died shortly after being involved in an automobile accident near his home. Marietta was seriously injured, but is recovering.
The Goins were such a nice couple. We became acquainted though the Foundation [Newsletter May 1993] in our Goins family research. They visited us in California carrying a box of photos of our common relatives. This was so typical of Richard . . . always ready to share any genealogical information or books that he had. Jeraldine M. Webb, 1318 Domador, San Clemente, CA, 92673.
Gowen Research Foundation 806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lubbock, Texas, 79413
NOTE: The above information produced by the Gowen Research Foundation (GRF), and parts of the “Gowen Manuscript” they worked on producing. It has tons of information – much of it is correct, but be careful, some of it is not correct – so check their sources and logic. I’ve copied some of their information in the past researching my own family, only to find out there were some clear mistakes. So be sure to check the information to verify if it is right before citing the source and believing the person who researched it before was 100% correct. Most of the information I found there seems to be correct, but some is not.
Their website is: Internet: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~gowenrf
There does not seem to be anyone “manning the ship” at the Gowen Research Foundation, or Gowen Manuscript site any longer, and there is no way to contact anyone about any errors. The pages themselves don’t have a mechanism to leave a note for others to see any “new information” that you may have that shows when you find info that shows something is wrong, or when something has been verified.
Feel free to leave messages about any new information found, or errors in these pages, or information that has been verified that those who wrote these pages may not have known about.